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October 1, 2013

A Bargain at Twice the Price

My father and I often recount stories from our business dealings – mine ongoing, his mostly recollective. Many aspects about how business is conducted today bears little resemblance to commerce in my fathers day. Though for as much as business may have changed over the years, some core principles remain steadfast. Chief among them, if you can trust a man’s handshake, you do not need his signature. Fortunately, and perhaps surprisingly to some, there are still a great many folks... View Article

October 1, 2013

The Pendulum Swings Both Ways

   A mortgage broker friend of mine and I were recently observing how often folks ask us about “where the market is heading.” In his case, they mean interest rates, in mine, real estate prices. However, the questions are really one and the same. So are the answers- “We don’t know,” “If we were that smart, we would be retired!” While I am extremely bullish on Guelph, and our prospects for continued prosperity, I am also a realist. We do... View Article

September 1, 2013

Collateral Damage

A good friend of mine is in the process of overseeing the sale of his parents’ home in an area of Toronto known as Hogs Hollow.    I’ve never been there, though they tell me it’s nice. In his words, it’s a ‘tear down,’ in an area sought after for its location and the prevailing size of lots in the neighbourhood. The list price? $2.2 million.    Scarcely 60 miles west of there, it is difficult to imagine a home in Guelph selling... View Article

August 1, 2013

Human Nature Comes to Ruins

This past summer, my family embarked on a wonderful trip which brought us to the Acropolis in Athens. It was a bucket list day to be sure, having the chance to see in person one of civilizations earliest and most impressive monuments. The monument did not disappoint. Unfortunately, just about everything else about the day did. As you may expect, we weren’t the only ones keen to visit the Parthenon. As luck would have it, 5 cruise ships, each with about... View Article

July 1, 2013

Just Let Me Buy The Hat

Salespeople, at least good ones, have always been thought of as good talkers – at least by non sales people. A person blessed (or cursed) with the ‘gift of the gab’ – is often stereotyped as someone that ought to consider a career in sales. Yet, salespeople generally talk themselves out of more sales than they may realize. Last week, on what was to date the hottest day of the year, I was scheduled to participate in a golf outing.... View Article

July 1, 2013

A Little Regress Please

My Father in-law Ennis Day was born and raised on the outskirts of Grayson Kentucky, a small country village with a stagnated population of about four thousand people. It remains a modern day Mayberry, albeit one with the accouterments of a Kmart and a half-dozen payday loans outlets. Little else has changed in the last 50 years, until a few weeks ago. In a squeaker of a vote, the residents of Grayson voted to allow the sale of alcohol in... View Article

June 1, 2013

Setting the Bar Low

By the age of 10, I was the only sibling of five remaining in the family home…located just beyond the reach of Rogers Cable. Rabbit ears mounted atop our 21 inch black and white RCA delivered three channels on a consistent basis, (another two and a half on exceptionally clear days) one of which was usually showing Gilligan’s Island reruns. As I was effectively the only child of two middle aged working parents during these years, I had to learn... View Article

June 1, 2013

Guelph’s Changing Rental Landscape

This past month the Ontario Municipal Board granted approval for an 1100 room facility at the corner of Gordon street and Stone road on the  site of the current Best Western. At first blush, the ruling may appear to be a game changer for the student rental market in the City of Guelph. With many of the recent medium density, mid-rise accommodation buildings sprouting up in the south end of the city having been snapped up by investors and parents... View Article

May 1, 2013

Keep On Picking

PHOTO CREDIT: NENUSKA My uncle used to lament ‘too soon old and too late smart’ when I was too young to appreciate how true the words were. That’s the paradox of youth – when you’re young – you think you’re smart. Gradually, life changes both and you begin to realize you’re not so young, and not so smart. The wonderful thing about real estate ownership, is that you don’t have to be too smart to acquire it, and just smart enough... View Article

April 1, 2013

Short Arms. Deep Pockets.

At least twice a month my father and I meet for breakfast at Eggcetera after I have dropped my kids off at school. It’s something of a luxury of self-employment to afford the time required for our bi-monthly routine, and one that I thoroughly appreciate. My dad keeps a little paper notebook in his breast pocket where he keeps phone numbers, a record of appointments and most importantly a log of who paid for the last breakfast. In the same pocket, he... View Article